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Miniature House Plants for Small Spaces

Some apartment dwellers, or those with small homes, may relish the idea of filling living spaces with big, clambering house plants for a jungle-like look, but others can take a subtler approach with space-saving miniature plants. They demand less care and provide more elbow room while keeping the water bills low.

A sunny tabletop can hold several small plants rather than one large specimen and still […]

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Hot New Vegetable Varieties for 2021

Chinese-cabbage lovers wishing for a little more excitement will relish the purple-leafed ‘Merlot’.

With the holidays in the rearview mirror and the New Year launched, it is time to check out the new vegetable varieties from seed vendors.  Most 2021 catalogs are up now online, and many companies still send paper editions as well.  Whether you aim to grow a simple pot of cherry tomatoes on […]

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Wonderful Winter-Blooming Shrubs for the Garden

Winter jasmine has beautiful fragrant flowers and a pleasing cascading habit.

January showers bring winter flowers. No – really. Plant the right shrubs, and you can have midwinter bloom whenever the weather turns mild, provided you’re in USDA Hardiness Zone 5b or warmer. Boston, Rochester, Columbus, Detroit – wherever. And, all feed early bees and other essential pollinators.

Witch Hazels

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Terrific Trailing Begonias, Indoors or Outdoors

Shrimp begonia hybrids have lovely leaves and blooms.

If the dark days of December have you pining for flowers, foliage, and fragrance, might we suggest some trailing begonias? These fibrous-rooted members of the Begonia tribe include dozens of evergreen species and varieties that burst into aromatic bloom during midwinter. Bless their hearts.

Brazilian Heart Begonia

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Cheerful Red House Plants

Anthurium is one of many cheerful red house plants.

December—when the days are short and light is low—calls for maximum winter cheer. Holiday decorations are great spirit-boosters, but to add some long-term uplift, there is nothing like a splash (or two or three) of red. One of the best ways to create those cheerful splashes is to invest in a few house plants with red flowers […]

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Versatile Bay Laurel for Homes and Gardens

Versatile Bay Laurel for Homes and Gardens

Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a historic Mediterranean evergreen that plays multiple roles in the garden. Where hardy, in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10, it serves as a fine specimen tree or tall hedge. In colder climates, it makes an attractive house plant and summer patio specimen. And, wherever it’s planted it serves as an essential culinary herb. Dried, bottled […]

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Specimen Trees and Shrubs with Elegantly Twisted Branches

‘Scarlet Curls’ Contorted willow is beautiful outdoors, and its branches look fine in flower arrangements.

Some trees are just twisted – literally. Rather than growing in the usual linear pattern, their stems crazily zig and zag, each segment veering in a different direction from the previous one. If you’re in the lumber industry, this is not a desirable characteristic. On the other hand, if you’re looking […]

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Growing Fragrant Eucalyptus Indoors

What do American gardeners have in common with the cute and cuddly Australian koala?  Both animals and humans appreciate the aromatic leaves of the eucalyptus or gum tree (Eucalyptus spp.).  Eucalyptus trees are primarily Australian natives, so Koalas have no trouble finding their tasty leaves that comprise their entire diet. But, Americans, especially those in cold winter climates, have to look farther afield to find eucalyptus […]

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Bayberry for Landscapes and Candle Making

Bayberries are tough, shore-side shrubs with the most fragrant, waxy berries. Bayberry for Landscapes and Candle Making (Image by Jessie Keith)

When we visit Cape Henlopen, Delaware along the Atlantic coast in fall, I always enjoy plucking a few waxy bayberries to rub between my fingers on the way to the beach. Their warm, familiar scent quickly fills the air. My children like the aroma, too, […]

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What Light Do Indoor Succulents Need?

“I’m new to the succulent world. Now that winter is fast approaching, I’m wanting to learn about indoor lighting for the succulents. Any helpful information would be so appreciated. Thank you so much!” Maria of Young Harris, Georgia

Answer: Truly, it depends on the succulent. Most grow best in natural sunlight, while others perform better in bright, indirect sunlight. As a rule, most spined cacti prefer […]

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